Sent: 13.40 25-11-20
Thank you for your very kind email. It must have been difficult for you to write.
Lillian has always known she is adopted but I believe if she knew the identity of her biological father that may disturb her unnecessarily. She only need know the amount of money she will be left and that both her parents are deceased.
My husband and I would be happy to meet you and we will ask Lillian if she would like to meet you too. I am sure you will understand we need to prepare the ground before you arrive.
Please contact me when you arrive in Sydney and we can arrange a mutually convenient time to meet.
Yours Josephine Bywater
Clark Kent materialised in the Fortress with his son Seph in a flash of white light. Seph was eighteen months old now and dressed for winter weather. Clark dressed in jeans and a t-shirt held Seph's hand as they walked on the hard white floor.
"Crystals," Seph cried in his high pitched voice and Clark smiled. He was not really sure why he had brought Seph here but it seemed it would be a good idea to get him used to Kryptonian things at a young age. Also, Clark thought, maybe Jor-El would want to "see" his grandson.
Clark lifted Seph up near a cluster of crystals.
"You can touch one," Clark said. "Pick which one you like". Seph touched a crystal in the middle and Clark put him down on the floor and took the crystal out carefully.
"Kal-El, my son," Jor-El said.
"I brought my son here," Clark said. He felt suddenly self-conscious remembering when he used to shout unnecessarily at his dead father. He knew now he could not speak verbally at all and his father would still hear him. "I hope that's OK".
"This fortress is your son's as much as it is yours".
"It doesn't matter to you that he is half human?" Clark asked.
"I always assumed you would take a human mate Kal-El in the absence of a suitable Kryptonian".
"Our son is called Joseph - we sort of named him after you".
"He looks a noble child".
"Daddy who is that mans you speaking to?" Seph asked.
"It's my biological father Jor-El, your grandfather," Clark replied. "Remember I said I come here to speak to him sometimes".
"How come I can't see him? Is he hiding?"
"The child can talk but he is too young to understand the concept of death or the technology which means I can communicate with you now," Jor-El said.
Seph looked up at his father screwing his face up in confusion and decided to sit down.
"Ooh it's cold Daddy," he said. The Fortress was white and shiny but there did not seem to be any toys there. Seph guessed this was one of those boring times he would have to wait for Daddy to stop talking to someone quietly before they went and did something else. Clark picked Seph up off the floor and held him against his chest and dusted the snow off of Seph's backside.
"Lois had some tests done - the DNA in her ovum is different now. Did that have something to do with you?"
"She activated the technology that enabled her to carry a part Kryptonian child to full term".
"Lois said she came here shortly before Seph was conceived, she was upset-," Clark began.
"She was distressed by the miscarriage of her first two pregnancies - the same technology was used that enabled your Earth mother to become pregnant twenty years ago".
"Will Lois be different in any way now? Will our son be anything like Lois - human I mean?"
"Lois will now be able to bear future children with you until she is of an age most human women can no longer conceive and your child Joseph is as much human as Kryptonian. That will be his strength".
"Thank you," Clark said, suddenly humbled by his father.
"Your child is as much a blessing to me as he is to you and your wife".
"How did you know we're married now?" Clark asked.
"You forget Kal-El - I am always with you".
"Aww look at that one - Seph won't let go of Clark's leg," Martha said as she and Lois sat on the sofa looking through the wedding photo's from a week ago. Lois and Clark's wedding had been a simple civil ceremony with close family and friends.
Jonathan walked into the room carrying a tray with a pot of coffee, three cups and some chocolate ginger cookies delicately balanced upon it and he placed the tray on the coffee table and sat down in the arm chair.
"You girls still looking at those," he said flicking the television on with the remote.
"Listen to him - girls," Martha said smiling. "I haven't been a girl in forty years".
"So what time is the flight tomorrow?" Jonathan was already dreading it - 28 hours stuck in a tin box.
"7pm, which gives us time to get you some flight socks," Martha replied.
"I don't see why we can't fly with Clark," Jonathan said.
"Because your heart won't take the excitement".
"Mmm and there was that time Clark flew us to Hawaii and we had to wait six hours to get our luggage because he'd stopped off at some crisis in New York," Jonathan said.
"At least I had my handbag on me so I had some money to get us a drink".
"I thought I could feel my ears burning," Clark said coming into the room carrying Seph.
"Hi Clark," Martha said smiling and Lois smiled at him.
"Daddy needs love from Mommy now," Seph cried trying to wiggle out of Clark's grip. "He's sad".
Clark looked embarrassed and handed Seph over to Lois.
"I'm fine," he said taking a biscuit.
"What did Jor-El say?" Lois asked.
"He said that it was Kryptonian technology that meant you could carry a baby to full term which is what we'd figured out already and that there's nothing to worry about - you're still human, Seph's half human and well everything's fine," Clark replied and he ate the biscuit. "So anyway I was going to show you all something - something I made".
"Oh yeah," Lois said, she, Jonathan and Martha looking both interested and worried at the same time. Clark dashed off and returned in less than a second with a metallic grey coloured harness with various straps none of them could fathom.
"That looks like good workmanship son but what is it?" Jonathan asked, a shade of amusement across his tanned and wrinkled face.
"It's for when Lois, Seph and I fly to Sydney tomorrow - see I go in here, Lois here in front of me and Seph in front of Lois. Then here I can strap our luggage to my back," Clark explained pulling at each strap in turn and then the hard flat piece of material he would tie their luggage to. "I'll be done up like a pack horse but it means I have my arms free, Lois can have her arms free and Seph".
"What if Seph undoes his harness and starts falling - you can catch him but he'll be terrified?" Lois said sitting Seph next to her.
"It'll be impossible for him to open," Clark replied. "You'll both be strapped in tight - I've even fitted it with a parachute in case something weird happens".
"I think it sounds great Clark," Martha said. "It's family friendly flying".
"Long gone are the days you used to swoop me up in your arms," Lois said with a sigh and Clark immediately swooped Lois up into his arms.
"I still got it," he said and Jonathan and Martha smiled. "Though I guess it's not quite the same when I'm in jeans and a t-shirt". Clark put Lois down and looked at the TV.
"They're talking about the Peace Summit," Lois said.
"And here in Sydney Opera House still one of the most architecturally unique buildings in the modern world the leaders of the world will come together to discuss issues such as climate change, tension in the middle east, trade in Africa and obesity in the west," the news correspondent said. "Cynics are saying these are the same issues world leaders have been discussing for nearly twenty years and progress had been rather slow. One difference this year though is that Superman has been invited to the summit - the first man to sit at the table who is not a state representative or politician. In fact he is not even human which Australian Prime Minister Jason Burke believes makes him the perfect person to assist in facilitating discussions".
"You nervous son?" Jonathan asked.
"Actually Dad I'm more nervous about that other thing we have to do while we're in Sydney," Clark said looking at Lois whose eyes were fixed on the TV pretending to watch.
"That's understandable Clark, and I'm sure you and Lois will do fine," Martha said.
"Well I know what it's like to be adopted but my parents sent me to Earth to save my life, Lillian's situation is a whole other ballgame".
"I wonder what she's like," Lois said looking at Clark and his parents.
"Hello," Josephine Bywater said smiling nervously holding the front door open. "You must be Mr and Mrs Kent".
"Lois and Clark please," Lois said holding out her hand and Josephine shook hands with Lois first and then Clark.
"Nice to meet you," Clark said with an air of awkwardness.
"Come in". Josephine had a slight Australian accent and looked like a normal middle aged woman Lois thought. Just ordinary in a pair of jeans and a vest top being that it was 35 degrees in Sydney at the moment. Her brown hair was cut short in a feminine wispy style and she walked with a casual gait. She looked at Clark. "Aren't you warm in a shirt and tie Clark?"
"I'm from Kansas - it gets pretty hot there too".
"The air con is nice here," Lois added.
"Where's your little one?"
"He's with his grandparents, Clark's parents - they've never been to Australia before".
"Sit down, do you want a drink?"
Lois and Clark sat down on one of the dark red leather sofas.
"I'll just have some water," Lois said.
"Have you got any coke?" Clark asked and Josephine nodded and went into the kitchen.
On the mantelpiece directly in front of the sofa there were some photographs - one of a red haired girl dressed in a school uniform probably about five years old. There was a photo of a brunette girl in a graduation robe accepting her certificate, Josephine and her husband Jakes wedding and a photo of the brunette and the red head together in matching royal blue coloured dresses.
Josephine came back into the living room with a glass of coke and a glass of water and handed them to Lois and Clark and they both said thanks.
"I'm just making myself a cup of coffee," she said. "Jakes just finishing off watering the garden".
"Where's Lillian?" Lois asked, leaning forward in her seat.
"She's out, I'm not sure where - maybe Christmas shopping".
"Oh," Clark said.
Josephine heard the kettle click and she went back into the kitchen. Lois and Clark could hear a mans voice and assumed Jake had come inside from the garden.
"They're here then," Jake said - his accent was stronger than Josephine's Clark thought as he listened in. "The Americans".
"They seem nice actually quite posh though and she doesn't look like she's ever had children probably got a personal trainer or something and that dress she's wearing probably cost a bomb and the man Clark he must be about 7 feet tall," his wife babbled excitedly.
Josephine made the coffees and Jake followed her into the living room.
"Jake Bywater, nice to meet you," he said and he sat down in his armchair. He was dressed in his khaki shorts, a white shirt and had left his trainers in the kitchen and had slipped into some flip flops. "So how long are you guys in Oz for?"
Josephine sat down on the arm of Jakes armchair.
"Three weeks," Clark said. "We're also covering the Peace Summit while we're here".
"We've been so busy with Seph, we would have come to see you sooner," Lois added apologetically. "After Lex's death as well things have been so hectic".
"Well you say Lil can't get the money till she's eighteen anyway so there's hardly been any rush," Jake said. "How much is it exactly?"
"100 million dollars," Lois replied surprised Jake wanted to get down to business so soon. Jake squirmed in his seat obviously trying to disguise his shock. "Blimey".
"Well I suppose you did say it was a large inheritance," Jo said and she laughed nervously.
"Is that the value - like does that include properties or cars or anything?"
"I brought a list," Lois said taking a piece of paper out of her green handbag and she handed it to Jo.
Jo unfolded the paper and read through the list. It didn't seem real that her daughter would soon be a millionaire. When she was 18, that was it, she could do whatever she wanted or go wherever she wanted to. She handed the piece of paper to Jake.
"Jesus Christ - two Lexus - who needs two? And a helicopter?" he exclaimed. "He still had all this even though he was a crook".
"Is Lillian the red head?" Clark asked. "In the pictures over there?"
Jo stood up and went over to the fire place and handed him the photo of her in her school uniform.
"That was Lillian when she was five," Jo said smiling. "I have some more recent ones somewhere though she's always pulling a face or giving two fingers to the camera these days you know what kids are like".
"Yeah I guess we do," Lois said smiling nervously. "Seph's latest thing is taking his clothes off".
"That's advanced for an eighteen month old Lillian could just about walk then," Jo said.
"He is clever I guess". Lois frowned and realised most boys that age probably didn't have the motor skills to take off their own clothes.
"So what exactly is your relation to Lillian?" Jake asked as he handed the list back to Lois, and Clark handed the photo back to Jo and she placed it back on the mantel piece and stood by it looking at the other photographs.
"Chloe her mother was my cousin," Lois said.
"So your Lillian's second cousin," Jake said and Lois nodded.
"We know all this already Jake," Jo added annoyed slightly.
"And I was Lillian's godfather," Clark said.
"You know I did a bit of research into you two, Lois you were engaged to Lex Luthor and Clark you were his best mate, is that right?" Jake said.
"Well Lex and I were friends when I was about 17".
"And Lex and I were a mistake," Lois added.
"And I read in the papers you protected him before his death with your friend Superman when everyone was out to get him". Jake leaned forward and looked Lois and Clark right in the eyes. "I'm not sure we want Lillian to meet you".
"Why not?" Lois asked. "We just want her to know who we are".
"Her second cousin and her Godfather for six months it's not like you're closely related or anything," Jo said. "I don't think it's worth upsetting her. When she's eighteen we'll say her father died a long time ago and left her the money, she doesn't need to know anything else".
"Lillian doesn't need to get involved with your world," Jake added sternly.
"Our world?" Clark asked, frowning.
"One full of dangerous people, one where nothings the same from one day to the next".
"We'd never put Lillian in danger," Clark insisted and they all stopped talking as they could hear the front door open.
"Just wait there I'll tell my Mum we're going upstairs to study and we can do stuff in my room," Clark heard Lillian whisper. He assumed it was her - it could have been her sister - the brunette.
Lillian stuck her head around the door and Lois and Clark were stunned. It was like they were looking at Chloe in a red wig. Her eyes, her nose, her lips were Chloe's - the hair though, red and glistening, was Luthor's. She was about 5 foot 6, slim and dressed in jeans and a baggy green hippy style shirt.
"Mum," Lillian said and she noticed the family had visitors. "What's going on here?"
"Nothing love, what did you want?" Jo asked, smiling falsely.
"Queenie and I were just gonna go upstairs," Lillian said looking back at her black friend and then at Lois and Clark. "Are you my parents?"
"Lillian don't be stupid," Jake snapped. "This is none of your business".
"We're just here to talk to your parents about their err," Lois began, frowning.
"Air conditioning," Clark added pointing his finger in the air randomly.
"Yeah". Lois stood up smiling and nodding. "But we see you obviously have air conditioning and you have some family things to discuss so we'll be on our way".
"Yeah," Clark said standing up too.
"Here's our details if you need them," Lois said handing the list back to Jo. "And thanks for the drinks".
"Yeah nice to meet you," Clark said.
"We'll let you know what we decide," Jake said and Jo let Lois and Clark out of the front door Queenie looking on while Jake remained in his armchair.
"Bye," Jo said and Lois and Clark were outside with the door closed.
"Right Mum, Queenie and I are going upstairs," Lillian said and her friend followed her into her bedroom.
"You don't feel like doing it now do you?" Queenie said falling onto the bed. She was a curvaceous girl and her breasts bounced in her tight top as she moved.
"How can you tell?" Lillian asked sitting down at her desk and taking her PAD out of her drawer.
"You've got that worried look on your face".
"My parents are up to something".
"You're so suspicious Lilbow, your parents are not up to anything except trying to stop you from having any fun and trying to get you to see therapists because you have `issues'," Queenie did little air quotes and took a spliff out of her pocket. "Want some babe?"
"Nah," Lillian replied. "That stuff does nothing for me". Lillian continued tapping away on her PAD and Queenie lit her spliff and took a puff.
"What are you looking at?"
"My Mum has some encrypted emails in her inbox".
"Don't you know her password?"
"Yeah I know all of them and her pin numbers but encrypted emails come with a three digit identifier number and I don't know them - they're a different number for each email".
"Why did you ask those people if they were your parents?"
"I don't know - they looked about the right age, I didn't think it would hurt to ask - my Mum and Dad don't usually have any visitors under the age of 40. I've got an email from Beckham". Lillian rolled her eyes.
"What does it say?"
"Asking me out to the movies tonight".
"Are you gonna go?"
"Nah I've got something to do tonight," Lillian said smiling. "A prior engagement".
"Maybe, plus Mazza is on tonight".
"Oh right so I ain't getting any today then," Queenie said.
"Have I ever neglected my buddy duties before?" Lillian asked smiling and Queenie put out her joint using the front cover of a magazine and took her top off.
Lois and Clark walked up the steps of Sydney Opera House Clark carrying Seph in one arm and holding the buggy in the other. The photographers behind the barriers clicked away and cameramen from various television stations were filming as the worlds press elite went into the building.
When Lois and Clark got inside Perry and Jimmy were already there waiting for them. Jimmy waved.
"Hello you two," Perry said and he noticed Seph. "Couldn't your parents look after Seph Clark?"
"They're doing the Sydney Bridge Climb this morning," Clark replied. "It was the only session they could get before Christmas". Lois took the buggy off of Clark and unfolded it as the men continued talking.
`Your parents,' Jimmy signed, clearly surprised.
"It's not that hard physically, Dad just had to take some tablets so he doesn't need to go to the bathroom as it takes three and a half hours," Clark said signing at the same time so Jimmy could follow the conversation.
"Well I don't think I'd want to do it at my age," Perry said and Clark put Seph into the buggy. "Anyway we better get to the pressroom".
"God, look who it is," Pete Ross whispered to his wife Lana as they walked into reception and he noticed Lois and Clark heading towards the elevators.
"Well you knew he was going to be here since Superman is going to be here," Lana replied, annoyance clear in her voice. She was dressed in a cream coloured suit with matching stilettos with her hair scraped back in a bun while Pete was dressed in a black suit with a black shirt and a purple tie. He rarely deviated from this uniform when he was working and simply changed the colour of his ties for a bit of variety.
They walked towards the elevators where Lois, Clark, Jimmy, Perry and Seph were still waiting. In contrast to Lana's business style Lois was dressed in a red shirt dress belted at the waist with a red shiny belt and red flip flops while Clark was in his usual trousers, shirt and tie.
"Lois, Clark so nice to see you," Lana cried smiling. She kissed both Lois and Clark on the cheek. The elevator arrived and a group of delegates piled in.
"Yeah, hi," Lois said.
"Hello," Clark added nervously, frowning slightly.
"Senator Ross, Perry White editor of The Daily Planet," Perry said holding out his hand and Pete shook it.
"I know who you are Mr White," Pete said trying to smile though it looked more like a grimace.
"And this is Jimmy Olsen our photographer," Perry said and Jimmy held up his camera and smiled.
"My wife Lana".
"We've met," Lana said shaking Perry's hand. "Mr White wanted to do an interview with me back in Smallville as the little girl from the cover of Time Magazine".
Clark noticed Lana was no longer wearing her clear Kryptonite necklace. Perhaps that had been a condition of Lana and Pete's reconciliation.
The elevator came down again and the seven of them stepped inside.
"So this is Seph - he's grown," Lana said. Lois thought Lana's face must hurt by now from smiling.
"Hello," Seph said as Lana bent down to look at him.
"Hello". Lana frowned looking at Seph's feet in his little sandals. "He has six toes on his left foot - you know that's easy to fix".
"It doesn't do him any harm so we've decided to leave him alone," Lois said and Lana stood up as the elevator doors opened.
"Oh well it's been nice seeing you again and I'm sure we'll be seeing more of you at the summit," Lana said and she and Pete walked off down the corridor in the opposite direction to Clark and the others.
"We better keep an eye on him Clark," Lois said quietly walking ahead with him and pushing Seph in his buggy while Jimmy and Perry followed behind.
"You don't think he'll try anything after last time?" Clark asked, concerned.
"He tried to kill you and Lex Clark because he was jealous - he tried to expose your secret to the world".
"Well if he was going to try anything else surely he would have done it by now - he's had eighteen months".
"Still he's dangerous and he knows too much about us".
"Pete knows a lot about us but I don't think he's dangerous anymore - he had a breakdown. I think he's OK now".
They walked into the pressroom where some of the most well established journalists in the world were sat watching television, typing on their pads and eating and drinking. Jimmy smiled and made the thumbs up sign.
Lillian had given up on trying to read her mother's encrypted emails and she sat in her bedroom that morning while Clark and the others were at the Opera House going through her mothers filing while she was at work.
Lillian had googled her biological parents names when she was seven years old and she had found her birth certificate and had discovered she was adopted. There were many Chloe Sullivan's and Alexander Luthor's and there was no way to know if any of them were her parents. She was born in Metropolis in the US, just like one formidable Alexander (Lex) Luthor the famous business genius turned criminal, but she dismissed the idea that he was her father right away. Her biological parents were likely to have been poor to have to have given her up unless her father was married or something like that. Whatever the reason it probably wasn't a good one.
Lillian had emailed the Metropolis Hall of Records and they couldn't tell her anything more than she knew already and the Metropolis phone book listed 15 C Sullivan's, three Chloe's and 6 A Luthors and 2 L Luthors. And there was nothing in her mothers filing. Her parents wanted to talk to her that evening so she would have to wait and see if they would tell her the truth for once. She knew her parents had been lying about those people who had been round yesterday. A good looking American couple selling them air conditioning? And the man was as nervous as hell.
She took a sip of her coffee and she didn't know why but she did an image search for Chloe Sullivan. None of the women who came up looked like the brunette she had seen yesterday. She searched for Alexander Luthor and a message came up on the screen 'did you mean Lex Luthor?' "This is pointless," Lillian whispered to herself and she clicked on yes. Among the images of a bald thirty something was one of him with Clark Kent and Lois Lane who though a few years younger in the picture were unmistakably the couple she had seen briefly in her parent's living room.
"Clark I need you to go downstairs and wait for Superman to arrive," Perry said, in giving orders mode.
`Shouldn't I go too to take pictures?' Jimmy signed and mouthed at the same time.
Perry ruffled his hair and stood awkwardly.
"Yeah sure Jimmy," Clark said and he began walking quickly down the corridor so Jimmy was finding it difficult to keep up. They came to the washrooms. "Jimmy you go ahead I think that full Irish I had for breakfast is coming back to haunt me".
`Say no more,' Jimmy signed giving Clark a sympathetic look and Clark nipped into the bathroom, changed into his Superman costume and he was out the window.
The press outside filmed him as he flew down to the ground. He stood 6 feet 4 inches tall, muscular, his black hair gleaming in the sun, God like. And even though everyone had seen Superman before several times on television they were still in awe of him.
"Superman, Superman!" the press, fans and politicians cried trying to get his attention and he waved at everyone. Clark couldn't help feeling shy inside but only Lois could tell watching him on the live feed in the pressroom. His cheek twitched just slightly.
"Thanks Perry for ordering Clark downstairs - it looks more natural than his usual ridiculous excuses," Lois said smiling at Seph, holding his hand and swinging his arm gently.
"Well during the past eighteen months I've got used to being your accomplice," Perry replied.
"So how did the meeting with Lillian's folks go yesterday?"
"They don't want us to meet her," Lois said slight bitterness in her voice. "But they're more than happy to take Lex's money".
Lillian sat with a piece of paper folded in her hand, her mother was sat next to her and her father sat in his usual arm chair.
"Lil we need to talk to you about something serious," Jo said trying to sound serious in a way that amused Lillian.
"Is it to do with those people who were here yesterday?" Lillian asked, without hesitation.
"The air conditioning people? No," Jo replied.
"They weren't here to see you about the air conditioning - you hate sales people".
"Lillian we need to tell you that your biological parents are both dead," Jake said ignoring Lillian's remark. "Your mother Chloe died when you were six months old and your father couldn't cope and that's why you were put up for adoption".
"Your biological father died recently and you've been left his entire estate - he was a very rich man. It's all yours when you turn eighteen. We thought we would tell you about it now because we want to be honest with you and it gives you a chance to think about what you want to do," Jo said.
"How much has he left me?" Lillian asked, her parents were behaving strangely and she assumed they had rehearsed this whole thing. It didn't feel natural anyway.
"100 million dollars," Jo replied and Lillian unfolded the piece of paper that was in her hand and placed it on the coffee table.
"This is a picture of those people who were here yesterday, they're journalists - you want to be honest with me then tell me why were they in this house yesterday?"
"To look at the air conditioning," Jo snapped. "And they aren't the same people - they look alike maybe".
"They were here yesterday because this man in the middle of this photograph, Lex Luthor, is my father," Lillian said smiling and unintentionally pointing at Lex's smile on the picture.
"Lillian don't be stupid - Lex Luthor is not your father," Jo cried.
"Your parents are dead Lil that's all you need to know," Jake added softening his tone a little and he sat next to her and took hold of her hand. "We're your real parents".
"But what's wrong with wanting to know about my heritage - where I'm from?" Lillian cried, and she bit her lip just as Chloe used to when she was worried.
"Then why can't you admit the truth? Lex Luthor was from Metropolis where I was born, his biography says he had three children by women he wasn't married to, one in 2005, me! These two people in this photograph were here yesterday - Lex Luthor's ex fiance and his ex best friend. My dead father has left me 100 million dollars - not many Alexander Luthor's in Metropolis have that kind of money - you can't expect me to ignore evidence like that?" Lillian said and as she spoke she stood up holding the picture up in front of her parents.
"That man was not your father," Jo exclaimed and she snatched the picture out of Lillian's hands and ran into the kitchen Lillian and Jake following her.
"That man was evil". She shoved the paper into the recycling bin.
"Lil we were just trying to protect you love," Jake said trying to put his arm around Lillian but she moved away from him. "And there are more important things than being clever all the time".
"Why couldn't you just leave it alone?" Jo went back into the living room and sat down on the sofa Lillian and Jake following her again.
"The truth is important Mum," Lillian said. "I knew something was going on because of the encrypted emails".
"You looked in my emails," Jo exclaimed, shocked.
"You shouldn't do that," Jake added, sternly.
"Well you never tell me anything - you only told me I was adopted because I found out".
"You were seven years old - we were going to tell you when you were older," Jake said.
"Did you have any contact with Lex Luthor?" Lillian asked.
"No," Jo replied. "He wasn't interested - Luthor was only interested in making money and causing misery. You only need to read about him to know that. Everyone says the same thing - he tried to kill Superman".
Lillian seeing the look of disgust on her mothers face felt a sudden feeling of dread in her stomach. Now she knew Lex Luthor was her father, could anything good come from that knowledge?
"Do you think that sort of thing runs in the family? Do you think being bad is in your DNA?" she said, thinking out loud.
"Of course not," Jake said. "Your DNA doesn't make you who you are".
"And this is exactly why we didn't want to tell you because you're going to be obsessing about it now - how is a kid like you supposed to deal with this?" Jo looked right at Lillian and she felt suddenly scared, these two adults staring at her.
"A kid like me?"
"You have mental health issues," Jake said, embarrassed admitting to it.
"So?" Lillian cried, annoyed. "I'm still human. Why are you looking at me like that? I'm not going to go mad now because I know".
"We didn't say that".
"Well fuck you I don't need you anyway". Lillian ran upstairs - there was no point in running away she had nowhere to go. Instead she slammed her bedroom door, grabbed her pad and climbed into bed. She couldn't think of anything else to do but to try and learn more about her father.
Lois and Clark looked at Joseph laying in his cot sleeping. Martha and Jonathan joined them.
"He's dreaming about koalas again," Clark said smiling.
"I'm not sure how comfortable I would be with someone looking at my dreams," Jonathan said.
"He's only eighteen months old and it's not that I'm prying - it's like he's broadcasting them to me".
"It's OK now but what about when he's a teenager - he's not going to want you seeing his dreams and hearing his thoughts then".
"I know its weird Jonathan but for Kryptonians telepathy is perfectly normal," Lois said. "It's been weird for me too but at the same time kinda natural too".
"I've already learned to block my thoughts from him though I still find it hard to hide if I'm really angry or sad," Clark explained. "He'll probably learn to hide his thoughts from me too".
"I can't hear his thoughts at all now it's more empathic than telepathic now," Lois said.
"You sense his feelings more than his thoughts," Martha clarified for Jonathan who was frowning.
"Sometimes I can even feel what he's feeling".
"I wonder if that can happen to other people he's close to". Martha was visibly excited. "When Seph hurt his finger a couple of weeks ago I got a funny feeling in my finger and I felt sad - I didn't really think much of it but maybe it was telepathy".
"Or maybe you were just sympathising with the boy Martha," Jonathan said smiling.
"Maybe, anyway now he's asleep you two can go and relax," Martha said.
"Thanks Martha," Lois said smiling and she and Clark said goodbye to Seph and went back to their apartment which was next to Martha and Jonathan's.
"Well I suppose I better get started on making sense of what I typed earlier," Lois said sitting down on the sofa which was exactly like the one in Martha and Jonathans apartment next door. She reached for her pad on the coffee table and began pressing buttons on its small keyboard and pointing at it with her pad pencil.
"And I have some proposals to read," Clark added and he took Superman's pad on which he did all Superman related business including checking Superman's emails, went out onto the balcony and sat in a straw chair.
"I'm just going to have a shower," Lana told her husband as he sat on the sofa in their hotel suite reading The Daily Planet. "The kids are asleep in their room".
"Good," Pete said, looking at his watch - it was 5 past 10. "Laura was whining all day that she's tired - she said she didn't get to sleep till midnight last night". "That was because you were out last night and she said she couldn't sleep without you tucking her in".
"She's six years old Lana, she's not a baby".
"Pete I'm not arguing with you about this now - I'm going to have a shower". Lana went into the bathroom and Pete folded up his newspaper and took his mobile phone off of the coffee table. He pressed two and the green button and put the phone to his ear.
"Hey Luke," he said quickly. "Yeh tomorrow is the last day of the talks, I've got the stuff - don't worry he just has to look at the color green and he falls on the floor like a drunk". Pete got up and walked over to the window. He could see the Opera House in the distance. His daughter Laura walked into the room. She knew she better not interrupt Daddy while he's on the phone. "Superman will be in the Opera House all day - I'll meet you tomorrow in the men's room when it opens at 9am in the Harbor Shopping Centre and I'll give you your security pass.
At 1 we break for lunch you come in to start cleaning and I'll let your friends in....... it will work out man......and everyone will know what people like your son have been through
and Superman will pay for it".
Laura ran into her bedroom and Pete turned around upon hearing the door close.
"Luke I gotta go I'll see you tomorrow". Pete could still hear the shower running and he went into his son's room and he was fast asleep. He then crept into Laura and Sky's room and they appeared to be fast asleep too. He sat back down on the sofa and continued reading his newspaper.
Clark placed his pad on the table.
"You finished already?" Lois asked and Clark smiled. "Of course you have".
"I'm just going to run a bath," Clark replied. "We've been here three days and we still haven't tried out the Jacuzzi setting".
Clark went into the bathroom, put the plug into the bath and turned the taps on. Lois continued working on her pad frowning, her face felt itchy and she rubbed it with her right hand.
"Do you think Seph is OK?" she said, she still raised her voice even though Clark could hear her if she whispered.
"He's asleep Lois".
"I know but I still worry".
Clark turned the taps off, pressed a blue button on the bath and the water began bubbling. In less than a second he was naked with his clothes folded neatly in the corner and he stepped into the bath slowly enjoying the warmth and bubbles against his skin. He sat down his feet touching the edge of the bath and was glad they had got the deluxe apartment with the slightly bigger tub.
Lois sighed and put her pad down on the coffee table and went into the bathroom.
"You got room for a small one?" she asked, almost shy Clark thought, and he smiled.
"I can't concentrate". Lois undressed and Clark watched taking in the sight of her large round breasts, slightly sticking out curved stomach and curvaceous legs. She got into the tub and sat between Clark's long legs - her legs were not quite touching the end of the bath.
"This water feels good," Lois said leaning back onto Clark's hard chest and he put his arms around her. "Do you think Lillian's parents have told her about the will yet?"
"I don't know," Clark replied. "A part of me thinks they probably won't tell her till she's eighteen when she needs to know. They seem intent on separating her from anything from her past - they just want to protect her which is understandable".
"Yeh". Lois giggled. "Ooh the bubbles".
Clark scooped some bubbles onto her breasts and Lois turned around, knelt down and kissed him on the lips. He kissed her back gently and then kissed her breasts. Lois sat down facing him.
"When you kiss my boobs now I always get a flash in my head of breast feeding Seph".
"Thanks Lois," Clark said his face hovering above her chest and he smiled. He put his hand between her legs and inserted his thumb inside her.
"You really know how to get a guy going".
Lois gasped and she grabbed his penis which was rock hard. Lois lay down and he thrust his penis into her and they made love the water tumbling out of the bath and onto the floor. Clark came and they smiled shyly at each other.
Clark got up off of Lois and he sat behind her again touching her clitoris as she lay back onto his chest. He rubbed it quickly with two fingers and inserted his fingers and thumbs teasingly as she gasped and moaned. Lois shuddered and the water splashed as she came and Clark put his arms around her and she rested on him content.
Half an hour later Lois and Clark were lying in their bed together just looking up at the ceiling.
"We haven't done this in ages," Clark said.
"We had sex last night," Lois replied.
"No not the sex I mean spending time together just the two of us not doing anything".
"Yeh," Lois said, wistful. "Still all parents find it difficult to spend time together as a couple. At least with your super powers we don't have to spend so long on chores".
"But our jobs - our lives are a lot more complicated. Don't you ever wish our biggest problems were finding the time to do chores or finding a sitter for Seph?"
"No," Lois said taking hold of Clark's hand and looking him in the eyes. She could see the love in his eyes - something intangible to anyone else but real to her.
"Normal was never an option for me," he said.
"And I never wanted normal," Lois replied.
Lois's pad beeped - they could hear it from the living room. "I set it to beep if Josephine emails me again".
Clark dashed into the living room and jumped back into bed and handed Lois the pad as she sat up in bed.
"Thanks, she wants us to go round and see her tomorrow morning before she goes to work".
"That should be OK though I wonder why".
"Maybe she's changed her mind and wants us to meet Lillian after all".
Lillian opened the front door of her parent's suburban Sydney home to see Lois, Clark and Seph stood on the doorstep.
"I suppose you're here to see me," she said.
"Actually your Mom asked us round to see her - and your Dad," Clark replied, nervously rubbing the back of his neck. That was the first thing he had said to Lillian in fifteen years.
"Lillian I said don't answer the door," Jo snapped as she came to the door. Her hair was sticking up and she had bare feet but she was dressed in trousers and a blouse for work.
"They're my family not yours," Lillian replied, defiantly. Seph toddled up to her and hugged her legs. Lillian's tone softened. "Hello".
"Seph come back to Mommy," Lois said using her high pitched voice she always used with her son when she wanted him to do something. Seph looked up at Lillian who looked nervous and he let go of her legs and toddled over to Lois who picked him up and held him close to her chest. "Lillian we need to speak to your mother first".
"Well there's no point now - you know Lillian knows who you are. She also knows who her father was. I just thought you and Clark would want to know," Jo said a stern expression on her face.
"How did you find out Lillian?" Clark asked.
"She found a picture of you two with Lex Luthor on the internet. She knew her fathers name and that she was born in Metropolis, that Lex had a child the same year Lillian was born and the fact she's been left a fortune - she worked it out for herself," Jo answered for her daughter.
"Well you shouldn't have tried to keep it a secret," Lillian said.
Lois and Clark were still stood on the doorstep.
"Come inside," Jo said and they stepped indoors and she closed the front door. "We don't want the neighbours watching. Won't say hello in the mornings but they're all nosy buggers. Look I have to get ready for work. Lillian can you get a coffee or whatever". Jo went up the stairs and Lillian went into the kitchen and Lois carrying Seph, and Clark followed. Jake came in from the garden.
"Oh you're here," he said. "Lillian where's your Mum?"
"She's gone upstairs, she's already told them Dad".
"Lillian can you try not to talk in that tone of voice - teenagers `ey, the worlds against them".
"Sorry," Lillian said. "Do you want a coffee too Dad?"
"No thanks love I have to get to work - you'll all be all right won't you? These are important times. I remember when my brother met his biological parents, not that you're Lillian's parents you know what I mean `ey. You'll all be all right won't you?"
"Well we'll have to be going ourselves soon," Clark said looking at his watch. "But we can stay for coffee".
"And this is the little blighter," Jake said patting Seph on the head and Seph smiled.
"Nice to see you again Lois and Clark, I'll see you later Lil - stay out of trouble".
"Bye Dad". Lillian clenched her fist, Jake left the kitchen, and she filled the coffee machine.
"So what do you know about us?" Lois asked.
"I know you were my biological Mum's cousin and that Clark was my god father. I know you are both really good reporters for The Daily Planet - you're famous in America and you're friends with Superman. I also spent till about 1 last night reading about my Dad. He wasn't a good person apparently".
"Your mother was a good person," Clark said. "She looked just like you".
"Except for the hair," Lois added. "Do you want to see a picture?" Lillian nodded and Lois took a picture out of her bag and handed it to her.
Lillian looked at the blonde woman dressed in her graduation cap and gown and the lump in her throat felt harder. She did look just like her and it was eerie - it didn't feel real.
"Don't sad," Seph said and Lillian looked at the little boy with a surprised smile.
"How old is he?" she asked.
"Seph is 18 months old," Lois replied and she handed him to Clark since her arms were starting to ache.
The coffee poured into a jug and Lillian poured out two cups.
"So how are Seph and I related?" she said. "Milk and sugar? We only have skinny milk".
"I just have milk - no sugar, Clark has 4 sugars and lots of milk," Lois said.
Lillian got the milk out of the fridge and poured some into each coffee and she added 4 sugars to Clark's cup.
"You and Lois are second cousins," Clark said thinking out loud. "So I guess that makes you and Seph third cousins?"
"Do I have any closer relatives - like grandparents or aunties and uncles?"
"Well Chloe's Mom is still alive and my father," Lois said.
"I know Lex's parents are both dead and well I know who I was named after now," Lillian said and she turned around as she heard her mobile ring. "I better get that". Lillian ran into the living room, picked up her mobile and answered it.
"Hello, hi Queenie,.....yeh I'm OK,........ a protest?.....Yeh sure I'll be there that sounds cool, though shit,.... I've got a piano lesson at 3.......no I'm teaching, still I can always pop
back here it's no biggie, I'll see if I can wangle a lift, see you in half an hour". Lillian hung up and went back into the kitchen her mood completely changed. "You two can't give me a lift can you?"
"Yeh sure where are you going?" Clark asked.
"The Opera House," Lillian replied. "There's a protest going on against the US's reluctance to change their environmental policies or something".
"Well we're going to the Opera House anyway," Clark said and he knocked back his coffee.
"I've just got to get changed," Lillian said and she ran off upstairs.
"She's so much like Chloe," Lois said.
Lillian came downstairs ten minutes later dressed in a short blue skirt, and a strapless blue top with the Superman symbol on it and blue baseball boots. She was carrying a guitar and a blue duffle bag which she put her phone in.
"What's with the guitar?" Lois asked.
"You can't have a protest without a few protest songs," Lillian replied as though it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"Have you got a sweater or something in your bag?" Clark asked.
"Yeh and factor 60 and-," Lillian went into the cupboard under the stairs and took out a blue Superman parasol. "No chance of me getting burned".
"You like Superman then?" Lois asked, amused.
"Oh yeh," Lillian replied smiling. "And if I'm at the protest if I'm dressed like this I'm bound to attract his attention plus I might get on TV. Then again maybe you two can introduce me to Superman".
"So you're not really interested in environmental policies?" Clark asked.
"Sure that too," Lillian said smiling and she shouted up the stairs. "Bye Mum - let's go".
"Lilbow," Queenie cried, smiling and the two girls hugged and kissed each other on the cheek. "Cute outfit".
"Hey Lil," Beckham called and he waved.
"Hello Lillian," a group of girls called out.
"Hi everyone," Lillian said, smiling. She looked at the group of about forty people who were mostly young people in their 20's and 30's and a few middle aged diehards. "Queenie this is Lois and Clark and their baby Seph".
"Hi," Queenie said. "I recognise you - you're the people who were at Lillian's house the other day".
"That's right," Lois said. "And I'm also Lillian's second cousin".
"Lois is my biological Mum's cousin," Lillian said.
"You found your Mum?" Queenie cried surprised.
"No err she's dead and so is my Dad," Lillian said.
"That's sad, I'm sorry," Queenie said patting Lillian on the shoulder.
A police officer approached the group as the protestors began handing around the banners they'd made.
"Hi Lillian," an average looking black man said handing her a banner.
"What's with the Superman outfit and the guitar? This isn't an audition for Australian Idol".
"I hope you lot are going to behave yourselves," the police officer said. "What are you doing here Mr and Mrs Kent? You shouldn't have the baby here".
"This crowd seem pretty sedate officer - we just gave my cousin a ride here".
"Lillian Bywater isn't it?" the police officer asked looking at Lillian. "I arrested you a month ago for indecent exposure".
Lillian blushed as she remembered being caught by the officer having sex with Mazza on the beach.
"Er yeh I remember". Lillian looked at Lois and Clark. She couldn't tell if they were amused or concerned.
"Anyway the boys and I will be hanging around to make sure you all stay out of trouble".
"We're just here to have our say," Kodu said and the officer nodded and walked back over to a group of police officers stood near the wire fence surrounding the Opera House.
"I'm going to have to go inside, the talks will be starting soon," Clark said looking at his watch - it was nearly 9am. "I'll meet you all for lunch at 1".
"Sure honey, can you ask Jimmy to come out here? I think it'll be interesting to speak to some of the protestors and see what the issues are and what type of people are here," Lois said taking her pad out of her baby bag.
"I thought you wanted to talk to me," Lillian said, sounding obviously disappointed.
"Of course I do but we have to work," Lois said.
"I'll see you later". Clark kissed Lois and then Seph and he walked off towards the Opera House entrance.
"I don't think they should have had the peace summit here," Queenie said sitting down on the pavement and writing on the other side of the banner Kodu had handed her with a marker pen. "It's not exactly a political venue - they should have gone to Canberra".
"Yeh but Canberra's as boring as shit and we need the publicity to get the tourists back," Lillian said and she looked up to see the familiar blue streak in the sky. "Look it's Superman".
"Wow," Queenie said and Lois smiled. They didn't often get to see Superman in Australia and it was amazing to see how blas the citizens of Metropolis were sometimes after six years of seeing a man fly.
Superman sat down in his seat in between the US president and the Prime Minister of the UK. The meetings were taking place in the northern foyer of the Opera House over looking the harbour and though meetings were often held here the venue had never been used for something of this political and global importance before. In addition the rest of the building had been closed for a few days to members of the public and Clark could see why this may have annoyed the locals. It was also a shame a large area around the Opera House had been fenced off so people couldn't even enjoy an uninterrupted walk around the harbour.
"Superman," the President said.
"Hello Superman," the Prime Minister Sophie Cox said smiling. She was a petite blonde woman - the most attractive Prime Minister in British history and the most ferocious despite her shy demeanour.
"Hello to you both," Clark said.
"Right, we're all here, shall we begin," the Australian Prime Minister Jason Burke said.
"Did everyone see the protestors outside?" Sophie said.
"These kooks always have something to complain about whatever country they're from," the President said.
"Carbon emissions," Jason said. "We introduced the rationing of air travel to members of the public and extra charges for businesses in the US, Europe, Australasia, China and Japan".
Clark looked over to the press seating along the wall opposite the windows and he looked over to the left of the table. Pete's seat was empty.
"The clerk isn't here," Clark said. "We shouldn't start until he's here".
"How unprofessional," the Prime Minister of India remarked.
Pete came running into the meeting room at that moment.
"Sorry I'm late," he said and he sat down in his seat and opened up the laptop on his desk. He noticed Clark was looking unimpressed and that Lois's seat in the press area was empty. Perry White was there but Jimmy the deaf photographer was also missing.
"Now we can start," Jason said.
"Who are all these people?" a young black man Tony Branston asked as Luke Murray, a blonde dressed in a cleaners uniform, stood by a window overlooking the protestors. "We hadn't factored in these people".
"It makes no difference," Luke said. "They'll just be more victims to the cause".
"Who has the explosives?" a black woman asked and a brunette woman opened up the silver case in her hands and they all looked at it and she closed the case.
"Right let's get to work," Luke said. "I'll let you into the meeting room at 1 as arranged".
"So what was that Police Officer talking about? He arrested you for indecent exposure?" Lois asked handing Seph his favourite teddy which when you pressed him played songs or flashed different colours and his favourite book `The Very Hungry Caterpillar'.
"Thank you Mommy," he said.
"He's a very polite 18 month old," Lillian said.
"Don't change the subject," Lois remarked sounding stern. "Sorry I sounded like your mother then, didn't I?"
Queenie stood up holding up a banner reading USA - GO AWAY. Lois raised an eyebrow.
"Lilbow was doing it with this guy Mazza on the beach and that cop saw them," she said.
"Queenie," Lillian cried, embarrassed and flushing bright red.
"Well you're old enough to be sleeping with guys - 14 is the age of consent, in Australia anyway".
"So is Mazza your boyfriend?" Lois asked. She was trying not to appear judgemental in any way though her conscience told her 15 was too young to be having sex.
"He runs a jazz club in Sydney," Queenie replied.
"Queenie shut up I can speak for myself" Lillian snapped.
"Does your Mom know you're dating him?"
"We're not dating exactly. He's my boss. I work at the club as a singer. I get 200 dollars a gig. He doesn't know I'm only 15". Lillian began strumming her guitar quietly. "It's complicated". And sounds really bad to an outsider when I describe it like that.
"Yeh that's a good word to describe it," Queenie muttered under her breath looking over at Beckham.
"Cut out the sleaze and save our trees," a group of protestors chanted.
"Look a TV crew - it's ABC," Beckham cried, excitedly.
Jimmy who had been taking some photos of the group came and stood next to Lois. He handed her his camera and smiled which always meant he wanted her to look at the pictures he had taken. The camera crew approached and the presenter a well groomed Chinese woman began talking into the camera.
"I'm here outside Sydney Opera House where currently the world's most influential leaders are discussing the big issues facing modern society today. Outside, protestors, who have set up camp today on the last day of the talks, have their own agenda".
The camera crew followed the presenter as she approached the protestors who began shouting even louder.
"Burns should burn in hell," Kodu cried, referring to the US president. The presenter immediately noticed Lillian with her shining red hair and her blue Superman outfit.
"Young lady, how old are you?" she asked Lillian.
"I'm 15," Lillian replied.
"And why are you protesting here today?"
"Since 2012, the year that air travel rationing and increased costs were introduced, tourism to Australia from the outside world has reduced by 65%, thousands of Australian citizens have lost their jobs. In that same year in the United States of America carbon emissions from motor vehicles raised 17%. President Burns should look at the impact his own country has on the environment before he and the International Environmental Committee start imposing restrictions on us. Australians need to be able to fly - we're so cut off from everyone here. Burns begrudges my family a shopping trip to Hong Kong in an aeroplane with 200 other people when 300 million citizens in the US are choking up the atmosphere driving in cars - the large majority driving on their own!"
Lois smiled as she watched Lillian arguing her opinion more than competently.
"And what about the other issues being discussed at the summit?" the presenter asked.
"I think the US and Europe should withdraw all their troops from the middle east - if Superman can't sort them out he's right they can all blow themselves to smithereens. Why should we put our efforts into policing countries that don't want policing. It is the foolish arrogance of the white male -,".
"Superman actually made it quite clear that he's still very much interested in his peace mission in the Middle East," Lois interrupted Lillian standing up and holding Seph next to her chest. "He was just frustrated".
"And you should know Lois Lane, reported for The Daily Planet," the presenter said. "No childcare for today?"
"My in-laws are coming to collect him at lunch time," Lois said. "Who are you?"
"I assume this isn't live," Lillian said.
"God no," the presenter said. "If nutcases like you swear on live television that's more than my jobs worth. I'm Sam Choeng - news correspondent for ABC - the Australian Broadcasting Corporation".
"Yes I am aware of some of the media in this country," Lois said.
"Well you've given us some great footage Lillian, can you actually play the guitar or is it just to look more protestor-ish?"
"Burns should burn in hell," a voice in the crowd called.
"Remove China from the Peace coalition".
Sam ran to the back of the group to talk to the man who had just called out.
"And why do you say that young man?" she said.
"President Burns you have to admit that the American public haven't exactly suffered in the past eight years since the air travel taxes and restrictions were put in place," Sophie said. "Superman is one of the few American citizens who ever fly anywhere long haul".
"I'm solar powered," Clark added.
Pete was really tempted to cough and say a rude word at that point but he would never get away with it.
"You've got to give us something Tyler - either start placing restrictions on the use of cars, re-vamp public transport or start making restrictions on domestic flights".
"You can't tell American citizens they're not allowed to drive their cars," Burns cried, incredulous.
"Superman got rid of your guns".
"And knife crime has risen 200%".
"As much as it amuses me ladies and gents to see you two sparring we're getting close to lunchtime folks and we still haven't agreed anything," Jason said in his strong Australian drawl.
"I think if we can cut carbon emissions in India America have no excuse," the Indian Prime Minister Dalbub Umradia said.
"To be fair 95% of American households recycle now and 80% are using renewable energy sources," Clark said.
Pete looked at his watch - it was 10 to 1.
"We boring you Ross?" Burns asked.
"Don't pick on him because you're not getting your own way," Sophie said.
"How many Muslim terrorists were arrested in Britain last year again Sophie - remind me?" Burns replied folding his arms.
"It's been too hard living but I`m afraid to die because I don't know what's up there beyond the sky," Lillian sang in a deep smooth soulful voice. Sam Choeng was still floating around with her camera crew. "It's been a long, a long time coming but I know a change is gonna come".
"If you took your troops out of the middle East," Sophie said.
"You can hardly talk about occupation Sophie - you still haven't given Gibraltar back to Spain, the Falklands to Argentina, Australia-,"
"It's been a long long time coming but a change is gonna come," Lillian sang. "Ohh"
The cleaner walked into the meeting room.
At that moment one of the "sails" at the side of the Opera House exploded in a cloud of dust.
"Oh my God," Lois cried. The protestors began screaming and the security present began arresting them. A few people came running out of the building shocked and the police arrived.
"Clark's in there," Lillian cried. Lois could see Martha and Jonathan in the distance stood by the wire fences with some of the security staff.
"Our family are in there," Jonathan said.
Seph began crying and Lois picked him up and began running towards the main entrance of the Opera House. Normally Clark would have come out to see that she and Seph were OK - he hadn't so something must be wrong.
"Lois where are you going?" Lillian called as a police officer came up behind her holding some handcuffs. She moved before he could clip them around her wrists.
"I haven't done anything".
The police officer turned on Lillian's arm with a Tazor gun but Lillian barely noticed the electricity pinging through her body and ran following Lois. The police officer looked at his Tazor gun and turned it on another protestor who fell to the ground. So it was working.
Pete was shocked as much as anyone. The explosion was a good diversion but why hadn't Luke told him about it? Still at least he looked as shocked as everyone else when it happened. Luke walked into the room followed by his five comrades all carrying guns.
"Don't anyone move," Luke said. "We have more explosives planted all around this building and we will set them off if necessary".
"What have you done?" Clark asked.
Clark stepped forward and his legs ached and Luke took the Kryptonite out of his cleaner's apron, took the apron off and slung it across the floor.
"I said don't anyone move - that includes you".
Clark put his hands behind him and sat down on the floor slowly. Luke bent down and waved the Kryptonite in front of Clark's face.
"What do you want?" Burns asked. "And where did you get the Kryptonite?" Luke looked at Pete.
"We want an end to the war in the middle east," Meredith the black woman said. "My father died when I was five years old because of your unjust war".
"You want to stop a war by blowing up a building - a historical iconic one at that and threatening us with guns," Sophie said, incredulous. "You don't know how ridiculous that sounds".
"Only as ridiculous as your war - one you've involved not only the world in but an alien - Superman. Why is he involved anyway?" Luke said.
Clark looked up at the green glowing rock in front of his face and wondered why he was involved for a moment. Especially now he had a family who he couldn't help feeling were more important than the world.
"Where is security? Isn't anyone going to rescue us?" the Japanese emperor exclaimed, angrily.
"Security probably think we're secure enough with Superman," Perry said.
"I can't believe I've done this," Lois cried running along with Seph bobbing up and down in her arms her heels clip clopping on the wooden floor. "I've just brought my eighteen month old son into a building that's just been bombed. I've got to start thinking about his safety".
"And yours maybe but it's too late now, you acted on instinct and Clark could be hurt," Lillian said her trainers squeaking as she ran. "I would do the same if my parents were in here".
Lillian noticed she could see outside as she looked to her right where the building had caved in during the explosion and her heart began pounding faster.
The two women and Seph came up to the doorway to see the five terrorists stood there weapons in hand.
"Get in there with them," Meredith said pointing her gun at Lois and they went into the room. "You two should have stayed outside".
"Chloe," Pete muttered under his breath on seeing Lillian.
"Clark isn't here," Lillian said and they stood next to Perry.
"Lois is Jimmy OK?" Perry asked and Lois nodded.
"Give me the guitar," Meredith said to Lillian as Lois looked over at Clark and the man who was waving the Kryptonite in front of his face. The delegates all looked terrified.
"I've had this guitar since I was seven," Lillian protested and Meredith pointed her gun at Lillian and she sighed and handed her guitar over. At the same time Lillian realised she should have hit the woman with it which is probably why she wanted to take it off her.
Seph wriggled in Lois's arms and she looked over at Clark sat clutching his stomach. She wanted to run to him so much.
"Joseph stop wriggling," Lois cried, desperation in her voice but he was equally desperate to be free so she bent down and he slipped out of her hands and stood up. Lois took a firm grip of his hand. Clark groaned.
"Daddy," Seph cried in his high pitched but perfectly audible speech. "You hurt Daddy!"
"Seph shhh," Lois hissed blushing as the delegates and Lillian watched, puzzled expressions on their faces. Seph struggled free of her hand and ran over to Clark.
"Seph come back". She stepped forward and Tony pointed his gun at her.
"Daddy," Seph said, he was very distressed seeing Clark like this and could feel his pain and he hugged his fathers chest.
"Superman is the boy's father?" Jason Burke exclaimed.
"No he's only a little boy - he's just confused," Perry said, his voice unwavering.
Burns stood looking sheepish.
"They look at each other like father and son," Chinyere said and she looked at Burns. "Did you know Superman has a son?"
"Wait I thought Clark Kent was that boys father. I met you on the first day of the talks," Sophie said and Burns smiled awkwardly and she pointed at Clark excitedly. "Wait he is Clark Kent - Superman is Clark Kent".
"What the tall reporter fella with the glasses?" Jason cried.
"Shhh all of you," Meredith exclaimed, angrily. "This is not about Superman".
"Yes it is," Luke countered, just as angry. "I've been waiting fifteen years to come face to face with the person - the thing responsible".
"What are you talking about?" Lois said, becoming increasingly agitated. "Superman hasn't been around for fifteen years". Luke looked at Clark.
"Everyone knows Superman came to Earth in 1989 in a meteor shower - Lex Luthor's book "Secrets of Superman" says so - there is scientific evidence. The only mystery that remained is where was Superman between 1989 and 2015 and just a minute ago I found out - he was someone else, Clark Kent, you!" He looked at Clark.
"During the time of the meteor shower I was four years old and my future wife was seven".
"You're from Smallville?" Clark cried, surprised.
"My wife and I moved to Australia twelve years ago".
"You must have been in the grade above me". Clark clutched his stomach, talking was too much effort.
"The grade above you and your friend Pete Ross - he's been very helpful".
"You had something to do with this Ross?" Burns snapped. "Did you have this planned all along?"
"I got the Kryptonite. The American government were keen to keep a stockpile. Remember Clark we had this discussion before - you said fuck the government". Pete came round to face Clark and Clark glared at him.
"What is this all about?" Tony cried. "We only wanted the Kryptonite to stop Superman from arresting us. We need to make our demands".
"My son is sick because of the Kryptonite which wouldn't be here if you had never come here. He has to be fed through a tube constantly because his metabolism is so messed up - if he ate all day he couldn't get enough calories. He's always having seizures, his arms and legs are all jittery and he's aging three times faster than normal. He's 15 with a receding hairline and hair growing out of his ears". A tear came rolling down Luke's cheek and he sniffed loudly.
"That's very sad but Clark can't help that. He was a baby when he was put in that spaceship - he couldn't control the meteors," Lois said. "I don't think anyone could".
"And you make it worse for me Lois. You and Clark can have a perfect child who is already talking at eighteen months old and he's not even human".
"You know nothing about our life," Lois snapped, angrily. It had taken two miscarriages and a flash of light from alien technology for Lois to be able to have her "perfect" baby.
"If he hadn't of come here Smallville wouldn't be full of sick people like my son".
"If Clark hadn't of come here a lot more people would be dead".
"Wait he cleaned it all up didn't he? I read Superman got rid of all the Kryptonite from Smallville," Lillian cried. Every moment she watched him groan, clutching his stomach, rubbing his head, she felt sick herself. She had liked Clark Kent when she had met him but she had adored Superman for six years since she had seen the first footage of him flying on television.
"It was too late by then". Luke took hold of Seph's arm and Lois immediately moved towards Luke. He pointed her gun at her and Lois stood frozen on the spot. Seph held out his arms to Lois and began crying.
"Mommy," he squealed.
"Shut up," Luke shouted and Seph let out a loud yelp and began screaming.
Then everyone in the room could feel Seph's fear. Luke gripped onto the Kryptonite even tighter and it began to cut into his hands.
"Leave the child alone we're doing this to protect children not hurt them. This wasn't supposed to be about Superman, this wasn't supposed to be about revenge," Meredith cried, her hands shaking.
"I have to get out of here," Sophie cried all of a sudden. "I can't stand it".
A member of the world press began crying and a pool of urine spread across the wooden floor.
"You seriously can't think this little stunt today is going to make any difference. People are going to keep dying over there. Things will never change. I just needed you to help me and you were deluded enough to go through with it," Luke said.
"I trusted you and you used me," Meredith said, tears coming to her eyes and Luke held the Kryptonite high in the air above Clark's chest and Meredith shot Luke right in the face.
"Shit," Lillian cried.
Luke flopped down and Clark shuffled backwards on the floor before he could fall on him and Seph, and the Kryptonite fell out of Luke's hands and rolled along the floor. Seph picked up the Kryptonite it glowing slightly and ran to Lois. He had calmed down and everyone in the room could feel it.
"Thank you sweetheart," she said and she gave the Kryptonite to Perry. "Go and throw this in the sea". Perry nodded and the terrorists pointed his gun at him. Clark stood up slowly.
"Go Perry they won't shoot you". Perry ran out of the door and Clark blew the doors closed.
Pete suddenly grabbed Lillian from behind and she pushed him across the room and he fell over. Everyone in the room looked shocked.
"She's strong," Sophie said.
"I should have had you sent to prison when you tried to kill Lex," Clark said, annoyed and he picked Pete up off the floor.
President Burns called his security on his mobile phone.
"The games over folks," he said and he looked at Lillian. "What's your name?"
"Lillian Bywater. Lois Lane is my cousin, Superman is my godfather, Lex Luthor was my father".
"Really?" Burns cried. "Well after that shove you gave Ross I better stay on your good side. I met your father a few times when he was in office - he was a brilliant man". Lillian blushed and Lois touched her shoulder reassuringly.
Four tall men in black uniforms entered the room.
"We're terribly sorry Mr President," one of them said. "We thought Superman had got you to safety". The men were followed by ten Australian police officers who cuffed the terrorists.
"What about Super girl here?" one of the officers asked nodding at Lillian. He had tried to tazor her earlier.
"She was here with me," Lois said. "She's not one of them".
"She was outside protesting".
"The protestors weren't responsible for any of this," Jason said. "Get those people out of here and officers you need to arrest Senator Ross". Clark handed Pete over to one of the police officers.
"What are we arresting him for?" he asked.
"Terrorism, trying to assassinate Superman and stealing US government property," Jason explained.
"We need to get Luke to the hospital," Clark said. "I'll take him". Before anyone could object Clark scooped Luke up in his arms and was out of the building.
"Leave us now," Sophie said. "We need to carry on discussions". Jason and Burns nodded and the security guards and police officers left the building with the five terrorists and Pete.
"I think it's best if the true identity of Superman stays between us," President Burns said. "If the criminal world find out he's just Clark Kent things will become very difficult indeed".
"Not to mention the legend of Superman won't be the same anymore - children all over Europe idolise him," Sophie said.
"This is the story of the century," an Australian journalist called out boldly. "Why should we keep quiet?"
"Because we will deny all knowledge and you have no proof. Not to mention I can ensure you won't be allowed to publish a blog let alone work for The Sydney Morning Herald," Jason Burke said sternly.
"Is little Seph OK?" Sophie asked as Lois clutched him close to her chest.
"He's fine," Lois replied.
"He touched the Kryptonite though".
"He's not affected by it".
"When your son was scared I felt it too it was most peculiar," Chineyre said.
"That's why I started to cry - I felt overwhelmed," one of the journalists said.
Clark came back into the room dressed in his suit and glasses.
"You need to get outside," he said.
"They were just saying they're not going to tell anyone about you Clark," Lois said.
Clark looked at the group of delegates - world leaders, their aid and the press and he smiled.
"Thank you," he said. "I hope you don't think badly of me".
"No, it was just a surprise," Burns said.
"You have a beautiful family," Sophie added.
Everyone followed Clark outside where police, ambulance and fire crews were surveying the debris, tending to the injured and questioning witnesses. Security staff and aids who had not been held hostage were waiting for the world leaders to emerge. The chief of police approached the crowd of delegates and there were press behind the security fences taking pictures.
"I thought Superman had evacuated you all," the chief of police said. "We need to ask you some questions".
"You can contact the President at his hotel," his head security officer said.
Lois, Clark and Seph could see Jonathan, Martha, Perry and Jimmy waiting for them. Lillian noticed Queenie stood near them.
"Lil," Queenie cried and the two girls hugged. "I'm so glad you're OK".
"Thanks for waiting for me," Lillian said and she pulled away from Queenie and they held hands smiling.
"Of course I waited for you - once the police let me go".
"Clark we're glad you're OK," Perry said and Jimmy smiled.
`What happened?' he signed.
"It's a bit complicated - there were some terrorists," Clark replied signing at the same time.
"We came to pick Seph up and then there was the explosion," Martha cried. "It was terrifying".
"We could see you," Jonathan said.
"We're lucky it was only a small bomb," Clark said.
"It doesn't look great though does it?" Lois said looking at the buildings deflated sail and the rubble surrounding it.
Lillian and Queenie walked over to the group.
"Mum, Dad, Perry, Jimmy this is Chloe's daughter Lillian and her friend," Clark said signing at the same time.
"You look so much like your mother," Martha said smiling.
"We haven't seen you since you were in diapers," Jonathan added.
"Nice to meet you," Lillian said smiling shyly and Queenie gave her friends hand a reassuring squeeze.
Lana Ross came running through the crowd with her three children.
"Clark," she cried. "Is Pete OK? I just saw about the bomb on TV".
"Lana, Pete's been arrested," Clark said and Lana frowned confused.
"You'll find him at Sydney Police Station," Lois said.
Jo entered her living room at six o' clock that evening to find Lois and Clark sat with Lillian and Seph on the floor playing with Lillian's Barbie doll. Lois was drinking a glass of water and Lillian and Clark were drinking some pink fruit juice. The television was on displaying footage of Sydney Opera House.
"What are you all doing back here?" Jo asked and nobody answered. She put her handbag on the floor and sat on the sofa next to Lillian who was sat next to Lois. Clark was sat in Jake's armchair. "I saw about the Opera House on the Internet at work".
"We were there," Lillian said.
"Really?" Jo asked, concerned. "Are you OK?"
"We're all fine Mum".
"What were you doing there?"
"I was just with some friends protesting".
"Lillian you're 15 - it's not safe for you to go to protests without an adult," Jo said seriously as footage of the protestors being arrested shortly after the bomb went off flashed across the screen. "Oh my - you were in that".
"No I was inside then," Lillian said and she blushed realising what she had just said. Still she was thankful no camera's had caught her withstanding the tazor gun the police office had turned on her.
"You were inside when the bomb went off!" Jo exclaimed and she stood up at that point.
"No er - we went in after".
"It was my fault Mrs Bywater. I ran into the building because Clark was inside and I was worried he might be hurt," Lois said.
"Running into buildings with terrorists in them might be all in a days work for you two but Lillian is fifteen years old, she's just a child. You might think it's OK to put your son in danger".
"My son was safe with me," Lois said.
"And I chose to go to the protest Mum and Lois was with me all morning and her friend Jimmy. There were security everywhere and Queenie and my friends".
"And what good were they? And where was Superman? How did the terrorists get in there in the first place?"
"There was a man on the inside - the clerk, an American state senator. He had some Kryptonite and snuck the terrorists in as cleaners. Kryptonite makes Superman too weak to-," Clark explained and Jo interrupted.
"I know what Kryptonite does. I know everything about Superman thanks to Lillian's obsession with him".
"Mum," Lillian cried embarrassed. "Sit down".
Everyone heard the front door open and Jo sat down next to Lillian again. Jake entered the living room and could sense the tension in the room.
"You lot been here all day?" he asked.
"Did you know Lillian was going to a protest today?" Jo said and Jake shook his head.
"Well I left the house before all of you this morning".
"I got a phone call this morning about it - it was a last minute thing," Lillian said. "I didn't know there was going to be a bomb".
"You were at the Opera House today?" Jake exclaimed. "You're fifteen years old."
"I do know," Lillian snapped getting off of the sofa. "I'm old enough to have sex, to watch explicit films and to pay full fares on public transport, next year I can get a job and smoke and drink but I can't vote or get married till I'm 18. I'm supposed to act mature and yet I'm not allowed to make my own decisions about how I spend my time. You two go out to work all day, it's the summer holidays, it's Christmas in a couple of days - what do you expect me to do? I thought attending the protest might be a chance for me to express an opinion and to spend time with my friends. Surely that's better than spending the day playing computer games or something?"
"Well playing computer games all day would be safer," Jake remarked and he sighed and he looked at Lois and Clark. "I suppose her biological mother and father were like this - opinionated, social conscience, that sort of thing?"
"Well her mother always had an opinion," Clark said smiling.
"I suppose there was no way any of you could have known what was going to happen," Jo said, her tone of voice and face softening. "And I feel awful that we had no idea what had happened. Why didn't you ring us?"
"I didn't see the point in worrying you about it Mum," Lillian said. "Mum can Lois and Clark stay for dinner?"
"It's Christmas in a couple of days Lillian we have things to do - you can visit them on Christmas day," Jo said.
"Couldn't we all have Christmas together?"
"Lillian, Lois and Clark have their own family to have Christmas with and we have ours. Your grandparents and sister will be here," Jake said seriously. "And you've only known each other for a day".
"They'll be going home soon and then I'll never see them," Lillian cried, sadly. "Unless I can go to America - I still have three weeks of holiday left".
"You can't go to America Lillian, maybe when you're older," Jo said.
"We can look after her," Clark said.
"I don't know - I think you should go home now and we can discuss this later".
"Of course," Lois said and she lifted Seph up who began crying for the Barbie doll. "We have to go honey".
"Lil," Seph cried and Lillian touched his little hand and smiled.
"I'll see you soon," she said.
"We will come and see you on Christmas day," Jo said.
"We'll see you on Christmas day then," Clark said.
"Bye," Lillian said.
Lois, Clark and Seph left the Bywater household and could hear Lillian shouting as they left.
"Why did you have to be so rude?"
"Mother to daughter Lillian. Life Partner to Lex. Died age 18 years," Lillian read off her mothers gravestone.
"We can leave you alone if you want," Clark said.
"And what do I do then? Mope about some woman I never knew?" Lillian remarked, bitterness in her voice. "Where was Lex buried?"
"He was cremated, he always wanted to be cremated," Clark replied.
"Plus his gravestone would have been a target for vandals," Lois added.
"His ashes were spread here on Chloe's grave".
"Gabriel Sullivan," Lillian read off of the stone next to Chloe's. "Was he related to me?"
"He was Chloe's father, your grandfather, my uncle," Lois said.
"How did he die?"
"He," Lois hesitated. "Committed suicide a year after Chloe died".
"I read in one of Lex's biographies that Chloe was killed in a car accident - what exactly happened?" Lillian asked and Lois and Clark exchanged worried looks. Lillian rubbed her arms in her coat. In Sydney it was 40C right now. Kansas in winter was 5C.
"You're cold," Clark said. "Let's go back to the farm and I'll tell you anything you want to know".
Lois and Clark sat on the double bed in the barn conversion while Seph played on the floor with a new teddy bear Martha and Jonathan had bought him in Australia to replace the one that had been forgotten about at Sydney Opera House.
"A is for apple," an Australian voice said as Seph pressed the A on the teddies keyboard.
"A is for apple," Seph said in an Australian accent and Clark laughed.
"Maybe we should get him another one that speaks properly," Lois said smiling.
"Well Christian wouldn't agree our accent is speaking properly".
"Have you heard from him lately?"
"Not since I emailed to tell him we were going to Australia. He said he was spending Christmas and New Years in England. I'm not sure if he's back yet."
"You know I rang Perry this morning - I've decided to go part time at the Planet," Lois said looking at the barn wall.
"You can't really be a part time investigative reporter Lois," Clark said and she turned to face him.
"I know Clark that's why I'm not going to be an investigative reporter anymore. I'm going to be a features writer. It's not as exciting but that's the point".
"You won't last more than five minutes being a features writer Lois - you won't be able to keep your nose out of my stories".
"I've hardly been in the office since Seph was born anyway".
"Things haven't exactly been quiet".
"Clark when I ran into the Opera House putting Seph in danger of those terrorists I realised I can't carry on dragging Seph along wherever I go putting him in danger. I know we can't protect him 100% and you can't give up your work but if I do this at least Seph can have more of a normal childhood like you had. Not like mine being an army brat".
"You ran into the Opera House because you were worried about me - you know that I'm the best person to keep our son safe," Clark said taking hold of both of Lois's hands.
"It's nice of you to try and make me feel better Clark but I wasn't thinking about you being the best person to protect Seph I just wanted to make sure you were alive," Lois cried.
"Seph needs a father".
"And if part of the building had collapsed on Seph and me you wouldn't have a family," Lois said seriously.
"You acted on instinct".
"And now my instinct is I need to concentrate on raising our son," Lois said. "Things had to change some time Clark".
"It's the end of an era".
"Like you say Clark I might not be able to keep my nose out of your stories," Lois said.
"It's going to be weird not being partners anymore".
"We're still partners," Lois said climbing onto Clark's lap like a little girl.
"And as partners we need to decide what we're going to tell Lillian about Chloe's death," Clark said.
Later that evening Lois, Clark and Lillian sat in the Kent's living room while Seph slept in his cot in the corner and Martha and Jonathan were upstairs.
"I want to know about those first six months of my life before I was adopted," Lillian said.
"I was there the day you were born," Clark said.
January 2005, Metropolis
Chloe was sat opposite me in a coffee shop one of those which was in a book store. We could see snow outside the window. We were surrounded by shopping bags and Chloe was drinking a hot chocolate and I was drinking a strong coffee. Chloe loved coffee but she stopped drinking it as soon as she found out she was pregnant.
"Thanks for getting me out of the nest Clark," Chloe said smiling.
"I didn't have much choice since you threatened to go alone if I didn't go with you because you're going crazy in that big house by yourself".
"I'll have plenty of time to go crazy and stay indoors when this little one arrives". Chloe rubbed her belly. "Ooh I think this hot chocolate is giving me indigestion".
"Maybe we should get up so you can walk it off," I said and I gulped down my coffee, got up and took hold of the eleven shopping bags.
"Yeh OK," Chloe said and she got up rubbing her back and followed me into the elevator. "Men are so lucky they don't ever have to be pregnant".
They got out into the street and Chloe cried out in pain.
"Are you OK?" I cried, concerned.
"It hurts," Chloe replied holding onto her stomach.
"Chloe," I said. I was pretty scared. "You're bleeding".
Chloe looked to see a dark red patch around the crotch of her jeans.
"Oh shit," she said, tears coming to her eyes and she grabbed her stomach again. "I think the baby's coming".
"Well I don't know what labour pains feel like - I've never had a baby before but I can make a guess they feel like this".
"We need to get you to the hospital," I said and we looked down the street, there were rows of traffic - the street looked more like a car park than a road meant for moving traffic.
"The traffic is so bad I'll end up giving birth in the back of the taxi," Chloe cried laughing and crying at the same time.
"It's OK I'll get you there," I said and I swallowed hard. I would have to do it. I put the shopping bags around my wrists and lifted Chloe up.
"What are you going to do carry me the 8 miles?" Chloe asked and she winced with pain. "Clark do you think something's wrong? I'm not supposed to bleed am I?"
I swerved through the traffic and into an alleyway.
"I can't give birth here!"
"You're not going to," I said and I took a deep breath and said under my breath, "here goes". I closed my eyes and began to levitate off of the floor.
"Clark what are you doing?" Chloe asked, noticing what was happening.
"Chloe I'm going to fly you to the hospital," I replied.
I shot up into the air above the tall buildings of the city holding onto Chloe as securely as I could with the shopping bags swinging around my arms.
"Clark how are you-?" Chloe began laughing. "I must be dead, is that right? I died and you're an angel taking me to heaven".
One of the bags whipped through the winds and Chloe watched as it fell to the ground.
"Damn," I said as I lay flat flying through the air carrying Chloe in front of me. "Chloe I'm sorry I didn't tell you".
"If I'm dead why am still in so much pain?" Chloe cried. "Err I think I've wet myself".
"Chloe I think that's your waters breaking," I said and I could see the hospital below. Now landing, that was always my favourite bit. Normally when I was flying alone I could smash into things and it wouldn't matter but today I was carrying the most precious cargo imaginable. "Chloe we're just going to land by the dumpsters where no one will see us".
I flew round to the back of the hospital, straightened up and managed to land both feet together on the floor.
"I've never done that before," I said half smiling and I walked round to the front of the hospital and into the emergency room.
Immediately the sight of a strong man carrying a heavily pregnant woman and several shopping bags caught the attention of a passing doctor.
"I'll get her a wheelchair - your arms must be killing you," he said and he signed to a porter who brought a chair over and I placed Chloe gently in the chair.
"I've been bleeding and my waters broken," Chloe said.
"How long have you been having contractions?" the doctor asked.
"I don't know - my back's been hurting for a couple of days now and I thought I had indigestion in the coffee shop." Chloe rubbed her back and winced with pain. "I think that was one".
"What was your birth plan?"
"Not this," Chloe replied. "I was going to have a natural birth at the Smallville Medical Centre".
"Smallville? Right let's get you to the maternity ward straight away," the doctor said and I followed him as the doctor wheeled Chloe down the corridor.
"We need to call Lex," Chloe cried.
"Who's that?" the doctor asked.
"The father," Chloe replied. "My boyfriend".
"Then who are you?" he asked me.
"I'm Chloe's friend," I replied and I took out my cell phone. "I'll call Lex".
"You can't use that in here - go and use the pay phones over there. Someone can redirect you to the maternity ward," the doctor said.
"Don't leave me alone Clark," Chloe cried tears coming to her eyes again.
"We'll get one of the midwives to call him when we get to the maternity ward," the doctor said.
We went up the elevator to the fourth floor to the maternity ward and the doctor left Chloe and me with a midwife on duty in the department. Her name badge said Kiki Johnstone and she was black with messed up curly hair tied back in a big ponytail.
"We need to call the father," I said.
"That isn't you?" Kiki asked and I shook my head. "Mary!" Kiki caught the attention of another midwife on duty.
"Yeh," she said.
"Can you take this gentleman to use the phone, he needs to call the father".
"Don't leave me Clark," Chloe cried.
"You'll be fine for a minute sweetheart, he won't be long" Kiki said and she wheeled Chloe off to a room to have an ultrasound.
Lex arrived half an hour later on the roof by helicopter - he had been in Metropolis on business. He arrived at the maternity ward and I was sat in the reception waiting area. I was really worried.
"Clark where is she?" he asked.
"They've had to take her in for an emergency Caesarean because she was bleeding and she wasn't fully dilated or something," I replied.
"Lex Luthor," the receptionist cried. "Your partner is in room 4, they've just began prepping for surgery - come with me".
"Is she OK?" Lex asked.
"Well we won't know that for definite till the procedures over," the receptionist said.
"Bye Clark - the next time you see me I'll be a Dad".
The receptionist walked briskly down the corridor with Lex following excited and nervous behind her.
"Clark I'm a Dad!" Lex cried running into the reception twenty minutes later. It was the happiest I had even seen him. "I've got a daughter".
"A little girl - that's great," I cried and we hugged patting each other on the back.
"Congratulations," an old man who had been sat down next to me said.
"I'm a Dad, a father - I have to get back," Lex said. He looked in a complete daze and overwhelmed and he ran off again.
Later on I went to see you and your Mom. She looked tired but happy. You were in a little crib next to her bed. You didn't have any hair and you were all pink and wrinkled but in those five months I knew you I grew to love you.
"Do you want to hold her?" Chloe asked. "I'm too sore to at the moment".
"I'd be afraid of hurting her," I replied. Which is stupid when I think of it now since I looked after you so many times when Chloe was busy studying or on a date with Lex.
"I feel exactly the same," Chloe said smiling. "Clark what happened earlier? Did I imagine it? Were you flying?"
"You didn't imagine it - I was flying."
"You've always suspected I'm different Chloe and like I said earlier I'm sorry I didn't tell you before but-," I began.
"I know Clark I totally understand why you couldn't tell me and I'm so grateful you were with me today. The doctor said if I'd been taken to surgery any later the baby could have been in danger. Thank you". We were silent for a moment. "Were you affected by the meteor rocks?"
I shook my head.
"You've just had a baby Chloe - it's a lot to take in without having to think about me," I said.
"Are you human?" Chloe asked.
"I'm from a planet called Krypton," I replied. It was weird saying Krypton in front of anyone else but my parents. Pete had moved to Wichita by then and even though Lana knew we weren't speaking then.
You started whimpering and I remembered something I had read in Chloe's medical records after she had a fall when she was pregnant with you.
"Chloe is the baby OK?" I asked, seriously.
"She's just a bit cranky. Being pulled from the safe little world inside me into this noisy and scary one must have been a bit traumatic".
"Chloe you know when you were in that explosion and you fell into the tunnel?"
"Yeh, you weren't around then".
"Well I'll tell you about that one day. When me and your cousin Lois were looking for you I saw your medical records".
"Remember Adam was brought back to life with that serum".
"Well the doctor who treated you injected your baby with the same serum. The serum is made from my blood platelets".
"The doctor did say he injected me with something to prevent miscarriage. He didn't say he actually injected my baby with it or that it was an experimental drug. Clark, would you have told me if I hadn't found out about you today?"
"I probably would have told you that it was an experimental substance. Who knows what having my platelets injected into her will to do the baby?"
"Does that mean she'll be able to fly?" Chloe asked, frowning.
"I don't know. I was also thinking with Lex having a high white blood cell count and his high resistance to disease-,"
"Lex and I have talked about that. The doctors think it will be an advantage".
"I'm sure she'll be fine," I said.
Lex came into the room at that moment grinning from ear to ear.
"Hello," he said.
"Hello," Chloe replied smiling. They were both speaking in sweet baby voices.
"Hello," Lex said again. "Can I hold her?"
"Of course you can," Chloe cried and Lex took you out of your crib and sat next to Chloe on the bed. "Clark take a picture".
"I took the digital camera out of Chloe's bag she always carried and I took this picture of you and your parents," Clark said handing it to Lillian.
She looked at the gorgeous young couple with love and hope in their eyes and her eyes filled with tears. She was crying for everything Chloe Sullivan and Lex Luthor would never have. Everything she would never have.
Lois and Clark each put an arm around her and she imagined Lex and Chloe were there hugging her instead. Lillian loved her adoptive parents but in them she couldn't see where she got her red hair or her green eyes. And their personalities - well they were so different from her.
"Those five months before Chloe died were very happy for her and Lex. They had you, they went to Chloe's prom together and Chloe was valedictorian at her graduation, they were going to get married and move to Metropolis together" Clark said as he and Lois moved away from her and Lillian gripped the photo tightly in her small white hand. "The only thing bothering Lex was his father. He didn't approve of Chloe. Lex wanted his father out of the way".
"Out of the way? Like dead?" Lillian cried, shocked.
"Lex was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people you know that," Lois said.
"But how can anyone kill their own father?"
"Do you know how Lionel Luthor died?" Clark asked and Lillian shook her head in disbelief.
"He died in a car accident with my Mum - Chloe. Are you saying my father tried to kill his father and ended up killing Chloe too?"
"Lex had someone cut the breaks on the car," Clark said. "After Chloe died Lex was never the same. He was devastated and never forgave himself. He had a break down and that's why he had you adopted".
"Thank you for being honest with me. Most people would have told a fifteen year old a lie to protect them," Lillian said.
"Maybe we should have," Lois said.
"But if you're anything like Chloe - you would have found out sooner or later," Clark said. "And I know how hard it can be coming to terms with where you are from".
"What do I do now I know all this? I thought once I knew everything about my past that somehow my life would change but once I leave here and go back home everything will be just the same. I'll go to school, fight with my parents, worry about my love life. Though it all seems so pointless now - so childish in a way".
"Things might be the same but you won't," Clark said.
"And you've got us now," Lois added smiling and patting Lillian's hand. "I know I'm just your second cousin but Clark and I would love to stay in touch with you".
"And I'd like to stay in touch with you," Lillian said, tears in her eyes. "I'm going to need someone to talk to about why I'm so strong and why I never get sick".
"So when you shoved Pete Ross and he flew across the room that wasn't a sudden surge of adrenalin," Lois said.
"No, I think the platelets did effect me," Lillian said, her hands shaking. "I've never spoken to anyone about this before".
"Anything else you've noticed?" Clark asked. "How fast can you run?"
"Pretty fast," Lillian replied.
"No," Lillian said and she laughed. "Thank God".
"X-ray vision? Super hearing? Super breath? Floating in your sleep?"
"No I haven't had any of that".
"Well they were only my platelets you're still Lex and Chloe's daughter - just slightly enhanced".
"Maybe I should do something with my powers like what you do Clark," Lillian said thinking out loud.
"Maybe in the future," Clark said. "I can introduce you to some friends of mine, but for now you should just try and enjoy being normal. Enjoy being a kid".
Lillian arrived back in Australia a couple of days before the start of the new school term. Her parents picked her up at the airport and talked non stop about what had been happening while she had been gone. None of it particularly important. They than began grilling her about what she had been doing in America. Had she seen the statue of liberty, the Golden Gate bridge and anything else that wasn't in Kansas? They didn't ask her about any family she had met and Lillian didn't offer the information. She would tell them in the next couple of days about her great uncle Sam Lane a retired general and her grandmother in the mental institution who smiled and stroked Lillian's hair calling her Chloe. They would smile not really knowing what to say, because their lives had been so normal and uneventful, the only advice they had to offer was from books or the Internet.
After some toast Lillian went up to her bedroom with her cases. Everything looked the same but it seemed different now she knew what she knew. Her biological parents were both dead - her father had been evil but also capable of great love. Her mother seemed nothing short of an angel. Lois and Clark, Martha, Jonathan, her great uncle and grandmother had had nothing bad to say about her at all. But that was how people spoke about their dead loved ones. They could do no wrong. Superman her hero for the past six years was just Clark Kent a normal guy with extraordinary abilities and also her godfather. He and his wife Lois - her second cousin were the only link she had to her past and they would feature very much in her future.
Lillian began taking the posters down off her wall. She wanted nice clean walls now. She then began bagging up all her clothes, jewellery and make up. The poor needed them more than she did and they didn't suit her anymore. Her mother came upstairs to see what she was doing.
"Are you moving out?" she asked, concerned but with a half smile.
"I'm just having a clear out," Lillian replied sounding quite positive. "I think I should give my old toys to some children who need them".
"You don't have to do it now - you must be exhausted after the flight".
"Well they say it's better to stay awake normal hours to get adjusted back to the correct time zone. If I stay busy I'm less likely to drop off".
"OK, I'll let you know when it's time for lunch," Jo said and she went off back downstairs.
Lillian came across the blue Superman top in her bottom drawer. She wasn't so sure she wanted to get rid of that but she didn't want to wear it anymore either. She left it in the drawer closed it and sat on the bed. She noticed on her desk she used for studying there was an envelope and she got up to look at it. Scrawled across it in wobbly but grand curly handwriting was her name Lillian. She didn't recognise the handwriting and she opened it straight away. Her heart began pounding faster as she saw the name at the bottom of the letter - Lex Luthor. It was a letter from her father. But when had he written it and how long had her parents had it? More importantly what did it say?
She sat down at the desk and began reading. Lex Luthor would tell her a different story, about how cruel his father was, how much he had wanted to impress his friend Clark Kent and his father Jonathan and how much he loved her and her mother. He did not offer excuses because he had made a lifetime of those but he told her the truth as he saw it. For Lillian this was the final part of the story she needed to hear. She knew now she would be paying for the mistakes of her father for the rest of her life not because anyone blamed her but because she wanted to. She would work for charity, she would get a job that helped others, she would spend her money wisely and use her powers for good just as she believed her father would have done if things had worked out differently. Just as she believed her mother would have done. That was her inheritance.
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